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Starting Practice in Ontario Checklist

The transition from residency to independent practice can present unique challenges. To assist you along this journey, we’ve prepared a comprehensive checklist, offering clear guidance for each step of the process, so you can navigate with confidence and stay well-prepared and organized.

Mandatory Exams

  $$ Register and complete CPFC Certificate of Family Medicine exams – you must have completed 18 months of residency prior to writing. There are two sittings (fall and spring), and you must apply 3-5 months in advance.

(start applications 2-3 months prior to practice)

  $$ Apply for CPSO independent license – this cannot be fully processed until CFPC exam is resulted.

  Apply for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) billing number – required for you to get paid by the Ministry of Health. CPSO registration must be completed first, which means you sometimes cannot bill the first few months of practice.

  $$ Apply/update CMPA coverage. Also, sign up for the Medical Liability Protection Reimbursement Program to receive partial reimbursement of the fees.

  $$ Apply/update OMA membership.

  $$ Apply/update CFPC membership – required to keep track of CME via MainPro+ credits (remember to submit up to 40 credits from residency).

Optional Professional Items

  *Apply for WSIB account – you must submit all workplace injury invoices through WSIB TELUS platform.

*Apply for ONE ID and E-Consult – allows access to virtual platform to obtain quick consult from specialists across the province.

  $$ Specialty memberships (i.e. CMA, SRPC).

  $$ Join your local medical societies and Local Education Groups (LEG).

  Join CPFC First Five Years in Practice Facebook groups for Ontario and Canada – share clinical and practice management questions and answers with other early career physicians.

Other Items Depending on Type of Practice

 $$ Apply for Family Medicine Enhanced Skills Programs through CaRMS (i.e. Emergency medicine, palliative care, addictions) – applications typically due in summer, interviews are in fall, match day is in Dec

  Apply for hospital privileges – Start applying 1-3 months prior to practice. Requirements are hospital specific (most hospital require 2-3 references)

  $$ Determine how you plan to bill (billing software [ i.e. Dr. Bill, MD Billing] vs billing agent)

  *Set up Go Secure account for billing – to designate a someone or a platform to bill on your behalf

  *Register for 24/7 Health Number/Version Code Release – needed to rectify billings for patients with damaged or expired health cards.

  *Register for ConnectingOntario – allows you to see some imaging, labs and prescriptions from other hospitals

Build your personal and profession advisory teams

  $$ Accountant – for guidance on taxes, incorporation, etc. Watch for discounts that may be available to you as a resident when submitting taxes

  $$ Insurance broker (life, disability, health insurance) – watch for discounts that may only be available in your first few months of practice.

  $$ Legal advisors – for incorporation, starting a practice, etc.


$$ = Expect fees * = highly recommended